- Teams: Brooklyn Nets (28-20) at Detroit Pistons (18-31)
- Date: February 6, 2013
- Time: 7:30 p.m.
- Television: FSD
What to look for
The Brooklyn Nets will be in Detroit tonight to take on a Pistons team that was recently defeated at Madison Square Garden by the New York Knicks.
The Nets have split their last four games (all played at home), defeating the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls, but losing to the Miami Heat and most recently the Los Angeles Lakers last night.
In what may sound like an obvious statement, P.J. Carlesimo’s unit produced solid defensive performances and decent offensive efforts in their wins, but failed to reproduce them in their losses.
They held the Magic and Bulls to 77 and 89 points respectively, all the while scoring 97 and 93 points in those same contests.
In their defeats against the Heat and Lakers, Brooklyn surrendered 105 and 93 points, but also only scored 85 and 83 points in those respective games.
Brook Lopez is having the best season of his career as evidenced by his All-Star selection this year — albeit as a replacement — but the Nets’ offense is prone to some poor shooting nights because of the struggles for their backcourt.
Deron Williams and Joe Johnson were supposed to be the best backcourt in the Eastern Conference while the Los Angeles Lakers guard tandem was expected to carry that same title for the Western Conference, but they’ve both underachieved this season.
Williams and Johnson have struggled with their ability to convert form the field this season and it’s been problematic for a Nets team that isn’t exactly stellar defensively.
Just last night, Brooklyn’s starting backcourt combined to produce 26 points, 11 assists and six turnovers on 9-for-28 shooting from the field.
They did a terrible job of supporting Brook Lopez who was a monster with 30 points and 11 rebounds.
On a tough shooting night, great teams can usually still get wins provided they have a great defense to support them and keep the game hanging in the balance. But that isn’t the case for Brooklyn.
Deron Williams and company allow 103.4 points per 100 possessions (18th in the NBA) partly because their interior defense is average at best.
Per Hoopdata, the Nets yield 25.5 shots at the rim per game (16th in the NBA) and allow a 65.5 percent conversion rate on those same shots, which is in the NBA’s bottom half in terms of league leaders.
That very same defense was on full display last night as the Lakers scored 46 points in the paint at the Barclays Center, a poor defensive performance punctuated by a sensational Kobe Bryant dunk over both Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries.
The battle between Greg Monroe and Brook Lopez is bound to attract some attention, but more importantly the paint battle between both teams will be huge in determining the outcome of the contest.
Detroit and Brooklyn are within the same vicinity in terms of defensive efficiency (Brooklyn is 18th while Detroit is 19th) and the one team that manages to defend the rim best may very well come out victorious.
Read about the Nets
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